Monday, October 15, 2018

Tabulation Delays

It's been two weeks -- where are the results? Is John napping again?? Well...

Not Exactly

There was the usual initial grace period for allowing slow finishers to, well, finish. After a few days I also got some helpful comments from Michai in order to aid the judging. Beyond that...yes, I was a bit slow and lazy...but there was also this Super Secret Awesome Work Project that pinned me down a bit, plus a few normal life events, etc.

That Blows

Oh, and the remnants of a hurricane came through the area and knocked-out electrical power and normal Internet access. Don't worry, no one was hurt and it was mostly just a big inconvenience. We have a gasoline-fired generator for powering modern conveniences (like the well pump), so we got to burn a few gallons of gasoline by keeping food frozen and the lights on. Fortunately the weather was comfortable too. Nevertheless, it was a bit rougher than my soft, first-world family would have liked!

Hopefully everyone can forgive me for getting a bit further behind on the RC2018/09 judging. Don't worry, I'm still on it... ;-)

Monday, October 1, 2018

RC2018/09 Checkered Flag

OK, September has come and gone. Hopefully everyone got a good opportunity to enjoy some retrocomputing time and if not...well, there will be another event in March... :-)

Checkered Flag

The competition is over for now. So relax, pour yourself a nice beverage, and enjoy a little break. If you are like me, that will probably lead to some rethinking and second-guessing about various aspects of your project. But that's OK -- you can check-out anytime you like, but you can never leave...

If you need another 24 hours or so to finish your write-ups then take it. I probably won't start the big review for another day or two. I expect that Michai will provide me with his own comments, and I'll invite anyone that would like to privately comment on the projects to feel free to send those comments to me soon. I hope to be a bit more timely with the judging this time than last time, but it will still likely be roughly a week or more before I finish. So, check back here starting then.

Competitors, Thanks!

Of course, I would like to thank all of our competitors for volunteering to share their projects in order to entertain us all. Hopefully we are also advancing the retrocomputing hobby and building the interest in the history and preservation of these ancient idols of technology. Let's hope so, anyway! Oh, and stay tuned...

Saturday, September 29, 2018

RC2018/09 -- Final Lap!

Tick, tock!

Soon you will have less than 24 hours to complete your RetroChallenge project...

Are you done? Have you finished documenting your magnum opus?

You need to get on it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

RC2018/09 Halftime Report

Time marches on, and once again I find myself halfway through a RetroChallenge event with (almost) nothing to show for myself. I did manage to let my truth-seeking engage me in a really dumb argument in defense of a simple fact, and I also found some time offline for some circuit prototyping and soldering. But alas, none of that actually matched my stated RetroChallenge project...am I the only one distracted?

Thankfully, Michai Ramakers volunteered to help to move things along by providing some commentary of the documented progress so far. I reviewed his comments, and they seem thoughtful, fair, and supportive. So, I have published them as the "halftime" comments on the entrants page. I hope everyone is as happy with Michai's help as I am -- having a guest halftime reporter may have to become a regular aspect of the competition... :-)

With that said, if you are an RC2018/09 competitor then you have less than two weeks to finish-up and/or reach any "stretch" goals -- I hope you do, because that is the most fun for everyone! So, grab a nap, have a snack, and get back to work...

If you are merely an RC2018/09 spectator, then please do review the entrants page, consider the halftime comments, and check things out for yourself. If you have your own comments or if you just want to cheer-on your favorite project then feel free to comment below. Moreover, if you feel inspired to get out your retro gear and get to work, then welcome to the club!

RC2018/09 will run until midnight on 30 September 2018, and practically anything might happen between now and then. Of course, there is only one way to find-out what happens...stay tuned!

Friday, August 31, 2018

RC2018/09 is ready to go, go, go!!

Projects have been proposed, preparations have been made...this place about to b-l-o-w!


Hmmm...that song is so old, it is retro...oh, bother...well, no matter!

Heat-up your soldering irons, strip your wires, crack open your programming language manuals and find your CPU reference cards. It's time for the next RetroChallenge event to hit the world! Will this be the best one yet? MAYBE! :-)

Official run time of RC2018/09 will be from 12:00am GMT on 1 September 2018 (i.e. less than three hours from now) until 11:59pm on 30 September 2018. Traditionally, we have granted competitors the courtesy of shifting that time period to correspond with their own timezones, and that courtesy will be observed this time as well for those that so desire.

Alright then, so...ready, steady, go! Do try to have some fun now, ya hear? ;-)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Next RetroChallenge Event: September 2018 (RC2018/09)

Well, I've suggested it, hinted at it, circulated it, and done everything but announce it. Now, here it is: the next RetroChallenge event will occur during the month of September in 2018. Henceforth, this event will be known as RC2018/09.

I hope that this scheduling change will not be too inconvenient for anyone. The change from the January/July schedule to the April/October one was intended to boost participation. I'm not sure it did that, but maybe it helped. In any case...after I inherited the new schedule along with becoming the event organizer, I felt the pain as the schedule just didn't work for me. I feel like the event suffered from my distraction, and I'm still hoping to rectify some of that...stay tuned?

RC2018/09 -- Open for Entrants!


So, with all that said...it is about that time of year again! Who is ready for another round of RetroChallenge?!?!?!

Entries Accepted

If you plan to join us in the RC2018/09 competition, now is the time to make yourself known. Feel free to refer to our "RetroChallenge Rules" page for reminders, but the basics are "do something interesting with an old computer, and blog about it for month". Please note that microcontrollers now qualify under similar conditions to video game consoles (i.e. made in the previous century).

Whatever you are going to do, please send me an email describing:

  1. Your name (or alias);
  2. Your picture (or I'll find something online);
  3. Your Twitter handle (if applicable);
  4. Your blog location (for project updates); and
  5. A brief synopsis of your project.
I likely will produce an entrants list that looks a bit like the one from RC2018/04, so use that as a guide for the level of information needed. Please send the information requested above to me via email to linville at tuxdriver dot com -- figuring-out how to decode that address is your first test...

Get Things Rolling!

Well, then, that's all for now -- just over 4 weeks until the start of the competition! Currently I do not have any prize donations to announce, but I am hopeful as always that our retro-oriented friends will come through with some great prize offerings. Don't worry! Remember, the competition is it's own reward... :-)

Anyway, get your entry to me, order your parts, and make any necessary preparations. September will soon be here!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

RC2018/04 -- judging completed...

Greetings RetroChallenge fans! Some of you will be pleased to know that I have finally completed my review of the RC2018/04 projects. I have put my comments in red on the Entrants List. Please do have a look -- competitors, please review my comments for fairness and accuracy, and feel free to send me any rebuttal comments that you would like to have on the record.

I will contemplate prizes for a few days, as I collect any rebuttal statements. Don't worry, no prize of any meaningful value is likely to be awarded... :-)

Late Again

Once again I find myself in the position of apologizing for my late review of the projects. Real life can be a bit unpredictable as to when it places its requirements upon one's time, but it is starting to feel like the current RetroChallenge schedule is aligning too closely with external forces placing predictable demands on my time and attention. The "day job" can be bad enough, but CoCoFEST! and Tandy Assembly are now annual events demanding my attention in April and October.

I liked the old January and July RetroChallenge scheduling, but others had problems at those times as well. I wonder if March and September might be worth a try instead?

Thoughts?